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Exposure to fluoridated water
and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence
among children and adolescents in the United States:
an ecological association

February 27, 2015

Full Report:

Epidemiological and animal-based studies have suggested that prenatal and postnatal fluoride
exposure has adverse effects on neurodevelopment. The aim of this study was to examine the
relationship between exposure to fluoridated water and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States.

Data on ADHD prevalence among 4-17 year olds collected in 2003, 2007 and 2011 as part of
the National Survey of Children’s Health, and state water fluoridation prevalence from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected between 1992 and 2008 were

State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state
prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic
status. A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was
controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with
approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011. Overall
state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also
significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year

Parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in
which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water.

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